WO2009004580A2 - A sauna-like apparatus and method - Google Patents

A sauna-like apparatus and method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2009004580A2
WO2009004580A2 PCT/IB2008/052652 IB2008052652W WO2009004580A2 WO 2009004580 A2 WO2009004580 A2 WO 2009004580A2 IB 2008052652 W IB2008052652 W IB 2008052652W WO 2009004580 A2 WO2009004580 A2 WO 2009004580A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
sauna
chamber
cavity
user
ozone
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2008/052652
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2009004580A3 (en
Inventor
Leslie Du Plessis
Original Assignee
Leslie Du Plessis
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to ZA2007/05111 priority Critical
Priority to ZA200705111 priority
Application filed by Leslie Du Plessis filed Critical Leslie Du Plessis
Publication of WO2009004580A2 publication Critical patent/WO2009004580A2/en
Publication of WO2009004580A3 publication Critical patent/WO2009004580A3/en

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H33/00Bathing devices for special therapeutic or hygienic purposes
    • A61H33/06Artificial hot-air or cold-air baths; Steam or gas baths or douches, e.g. sauna or Finnish baths
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H33/00Bathing devices for special therapeutic or hygienic purposes
    • A61H33/06Artificial hot-air or cold-air baths; Steam or gas baths or douches, e.g. sauna or Finnish baths
    • A61H33/063Heaters specifically designed therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H33/00Bathing devices for special therapeutic or hygienic purposes
    • A61H33/14Devices for gas baths with ozone, hydrogen, or the like
    • A61H2033/141Devices for gas baths with ozone, hydrogen, or the like with ionised gas, e.g. ozone
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/01Constructive details
    • A61H2201/0173Means for preventing injuries
    • A61H2201/0176By stopping operation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/50Control means thereof
    • A61H2201/5023Interfaces to the user
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2230/00Measuring physical parameters of the user
    • A61H2230/04Heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulation
    • A61H2230/06Heartbeat rate

Abstract

A sauna-like apparatus has a chamber defining a cavity to accommodate at least part of a body of a user and an infrared emitter within the chamber. It also has an ozone generator to pump ozone into the chamber. Infrared radiation in the far infrared range, ie radiation having a wavelength of between 5.6 μ and 1 mm. Ozone is generated by irradiating oxygen from a compressed cylinder with UV radiation. The apparatus further has a heart rate monitor.

Description

A SAUNA-LIKE APPARATUS AND METHOD

THIS INVENTION relates to a sauna-like apparatus and relaxation method.

According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided a sauna-like apparatus which includes: a chamber defining a cavity to accommodate at least part of a body of a user; and an infrared emitter within the chamber.

The apparatus may include an ozone generator in fluid flow communication with the cavity. The ozone generator may include an oxygen (O2) source coupled with an ultraviolet (UV) emitter operable to apply UV radiation to the oxygen thereby to convert it to ozone (O3). The ozone generator may be inside or outside the chamber. Preferably it is outside the chamber and the oxygen source may be a compressed oxygen cylinder. A control valve may then be provided to control flow of oxygen from the cylinder to the UV emitter and hence to the chamber. The chamber may therefore include an inlet port through which the ozone enters the chamber and a vent through which gasses may exit the chamber to prevent a build up of pressure therein.

The infrared emitter may be operable to emit infrared radiation in the far infrared range, for instance having a wavelength of between 5.6 μ and

1 mm. The infrared emitter may be in the form of a ceramic emitter. It is to be appreciated that, in use, human skin absorbs approximately 80% of this emitted infrared radiation converting it to heat.

The chamber may define an opening in which, in use, a neck of the user is received. Thus, the chamber may be shaped and dimensioned to accommodate the user's body from the neck down with the person's neck extending through the opening and with the user's head outside the chamber.

The chamber may include a seat member having a generally recumbent seat and a generally upright backrest. The height of the seat may be adjustable so that different sized users may have their necks aligned with the opening. The apparatus may include a bib or collar which can be placed around the user's neck to inhibit air or gas flow between the cavity and the exterior of the chamber through the opening. The infrared emitter may face towards the backrest and may be mounted to an inner surface of a wall portion defining the chamber, such that, in use the person's torso is irradiated.

The chamber may further include an openable closure arrangement to permit access to the cavity. The closure arrangement may be in the form of one or more doors. The cavity may be partially defined by the door(s) and a floor. An upper edge of the, or each, door may define a semicircular recess so that when the doors are closed the respective recesses are in register to define the neck opening.

The floor may define a base of the apparatus for engaging a support surface, such as a floor. The base may include wheels to facilitate easy transportation of the chamber.

The chamber may include a handle on each inner side thereof positioned where a user's hands, in use, would likely come to rest. The handles may be in the form of elongate elements directed upwardly so that a user may grip the handles by curling his/her fingers around them. The handles may each include a button or switch on a free end thereof which can be actuated in use by a user's thumb joystick-fashion to control the temperature in the chamber and/or the flow of ozone into the chamber.

The apparatus may further include a heart rate monitor and the handles may then double as a pair of electrodes therefor. The apparatus may include a user interface, for example in the form of a control panel. The control panel may be externally fixed to an upper side portion of the backrest. Instead, it may be portable. The control panel may be connected to a thermostat to set a desired temperature within the cavity. It may also be connected to a timer to set a duration for which the user intends to use the apparatus. The control panel may also control the control valve of the ozone generator.

The apparatus may also include an emergency shutdown button accessible from within the cavity, the button for example being positioned on an inner side of one of the doors.

The infrared emitter may be spaced from the seat element, for example being attached to an inner portion of the chamber remote from the opening for the user's neck. The chamber may also include a drip tray to channel and capture liquids, for example sweat.

The door(s) of the chamber may be removable. The door(s) (and/or other components of the chamber) may be of dual-wall fibreglass construction. Also, the or each door may include a seal to seal, at least partially, the cavity when the or each door is in the closed position.

The apparatus may still further have an inlet fan and an extractor fan for blowing air into the chamber and extracting gasses therefrom, to cool the interior of the chamber.

The invention extends to a sauna-like relaxation method which includes: locating at least of portion of a body of a user within a cavity defined by a chamber; and generating infrared radiation within the cavity .

The method may additionally include supplying ozone to the cavity. The invention will now be further described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 shows a side elevational view of a first embodiment of a sauna-like apparatus in accordance with the invention;

Figure 2 shows a three-dimensional view of the apparatus of Figure 1 ; Figure 3 shows a front elevational view of a seat member of the apparatus of Figure 1 ;

Figure 4 shows an elevational view of an interior of the apparatus of Figure 1 ; and

Figure 5 shows a perspective view of the shell of a second embodiment of a sauna-like apparatus in accordance with the invention.

Referring now to Figures 1 and 2, reference numeral 10 generally indicates a first embodiment of a sauna-like apparatus in accordance with the invention. The apparatus 10 includes a chamber 12 which is defined by a closure arrangement in the form of respective side opening doors 14, 16 and by a seat member 18. A cavity 13 is defined within the chamber 12 between or enclosed by the doors 14, 16 and the seat member 18.

The doors 14, 16 are displaceably attached to the seat member 18 by hinges 22. The doors 14, 16 are thus pivotally openable and closable relative to the seat member 18 about an oblique pivot axis 22.1. The doors

14, 16 therefore open outwardly and close inwardly in a wing-like manner.

The doors 14, 16 are detachable from their respective hinges 22 and are therefore removable to facilitate maintenance of and access to the apparatus 10.

The seat member 18 is generally L-shaped having a base portion 19 and a backrest 24. The base portion 19 is generally planar and is configured to support the chamber 12 on a support surface, e.g. a floor. The base portion 19 includes wheels 21 so that the apparatus 10 may easily be moved and positioned. The seat member 18 includes an adjustable seat 38 (refer to Figures 3 and 4). The backrest 24 is generally upright while the seat 38 is generally recumbent.

Each door 14, 16 defines a semicircular recess in an upper rear edge thereof such that when the doors 14, 16 are in their closed position, the respective recesses are in register forming a circular opening 20 adjacent the backrest 24.

The doors 14, 16 include respective seals so that when they are in their closed position, they seal off the chamber 12 (except of course for the opening 20) such that gas cannot leak from the cavity 13 to the exterior of the chamber 12. In this example, the seals are in the form of respective beads or lines of rubber or silicon.

The chamber 12 and the corresponding cavity 13 are shaped and dimensioned to accommodate a body of a user so that a neck of the user projects through the opening 20 allowing a head of the user to stand proud of the chamber being spaced away from the cavity 13. One of the doors 14 defines a planar generally oval front portion 17.

A front face of the backrest 24 includes a user interface in the form of a control panel 26. The control panel 26 interacts with a thermostat 23 and a timer 25. The temperature in the cavity 13 is monitored by a temperature sensor 37.

Referring now to Figure 3, the seat member 18 includes a plurality of longitudinally extending paired slots 30 spaced one above the other. The slots 30 are configured to receive a seat 38 (shown schematically in Figure 4) on which the user can sit, in use. The height of the seat 38 is adjustable by selecting into which opposed pair of slots 30 to insert the seat 38. The height of the seat 38 is preferably selected so that the user's neck will be roughly level with the top of the backrest 24 so that it will fit comfortably through the opening 20.

The apparatus 10 includes an ozone generator 32. The ozone generator 32 includes an oxygen supply 27, in the form of a cylinder containing compressed oxygen, an electrically operable control valve 29 and a

UV emitter 31 operable to apply UV radiation to oxygen passing therethrough thereby to convert the oxygen to ozone. The ozone is then supplied into the cavity 13 by means of pipes 33 and an inlet port 35 defined in the seat member 18.

The seat member 18 also defines therein a vent 34 so that gas may be vented from the cavity 13 to an exterior of the chamber 12, thereby preventing pressure build up resulting from the supply of ozone.

Referring now to Figure 4, an interior of the chamber 12 is shown in more detail. An inner face of the front portion 17 includes attached thereto two infrared emitters 40. The emitters 40 are in the form of ceramic infrared emitters operable to emit infrared radiation in the far infrared range (having a wavelength of between 5.6 μ and 1 mm). The emitters 40 face into the chamber 12 and are directed towards the backrest 24 and are elevated and spaced from where the person's body, in use, will be.

The apparatus 10 includes two handles 42, one on each door 14, 16, positioned where a user's hands, in use, would likely come to rest.

The handles 42 are in the form of elongate cylindrical elements projecting obliquely towards a centre of the cavity 13. In use, a user may grasp the handles by curling his/her fingers around them. A free end of each handle 42 includes a user manipulable button 42.1 which can be pressed by the user's thumb, joystick-fashion. The button 42.1 on one side is to control the valve 29 and the button 42.1 on the other side controls the output of the infrared emitters 40. An emergency shutdown switch 44 is positioned adjacent the handle 42 on the door 16 within reach of the user's hand. The emergency shutdown switch can be pressed in case of an emergency to shutdown all the components of the apparatus 10.

The handles 42 are of an electrically conductive material, in this case surgical steel. The handles 42 double as electrodes for a heart rate monitor 35. It will be appreciated that the thermostat 23, timer 25, heart rate monitor 35 and ozone generator 32 have been shown as being outside the seat member 18, for convenience in describing the apparatus. In practice they will preferably be housed in a compartment in the rear of the seat member 18, accessible via a cover (not shown).

It is to be appreciated that the apparatus 10 or 50 is used for relaxation purposes. The apparatus 10 and 50 are conceptually similar to a sauna with the important distinction that the air within the cavity 13 is relatively dry as hot water vapour is not necessary to generate the heat.

In use, a user wishing to have a sauna-like experience opens the doors 14, 16 of the chamber 12 outwardly to permit access to the cavity

13. The user adjusts the height of the seat 38 by inserting it into the appropriate opposed slots 30 so that his neck will be generally aligned with the opening 20 formed by the doors 14, 16.

Before sitting down, the user adjusts the intensity and duration of the desired session by actuating or toggling the controls of the control panel 26. The user then sits on the seat 38 with his back against the backrest 24 and his feet extending forwardly and resting on a front portion of the backrest member 18.

The user then closes the doors 14, 16 either by himself or assisted by an operator, so that the two semicircular recesses close around the user's neck. If desired, the user may wear a bib or collar around his neck which overlaps with a periphery of the opening 20 thereby to inhibit escape of gas or vapour out of the opening 20 and to contain it within the cavity 13.

The user grasps the handles 42 and if desired, may press one or both buttons 42.1 during the session. The infrared emitters 40 emit infrared radiation which interacts with the user's skin to produce heat. The user may then build up a sweat, in similar fashion to sauna-use, which may be directed and stored into a drip tray (not illustrated).

While the infrared emitters 40 are active, ozone is generated by the ozone generator 32 and circulated throughout the cavity 13, thereby contacting the user's skin. The applicant believes that the dray heat and ozone assist in relaxing the user and may have a beneficial effect on the circulation or other bodily functions of the user.

When the user has finished the session, the ozone is safely vented from the cavity 13 via the vent 34 and the doors 14, 16 are opened so that the user may exit from the apparatus 10 or 50.

With reference to Figure 5, a shell of a further embodiment 50 of a sauna-like apparatus in accordance with the invention. The apparatus 50 is similar to the apparatus 10 and is similarly referenced. However, instead of having two doors 14 and 16 it has a single door 52 which is hinged at a front end by means of hinges 22.

The Inventor believes that the invention as exemplified provides a convenient and effective manner in which to relax people and may have many health benefits for users.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A sauna-like apparatus which includes: a chamber defining a cavity to accommodate at least part of a body of a user; and an infrared emitter within the chamber.
2. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 , which includes an ozone generator for supplying ozone, in use, to the cavity.
3. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, in which the infrared emitter is operable to emit infrared radiation in the far infrared range.
4. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, in which the infrared emitter is operable to emit infrared radiation having a wavelength of between 5.6 μ and 1 mm.
5. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the infrared emitter is in the form of a ceramic emitter.
6. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the chamber defines an opening in which, in use, a neck of the user is received.
7. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 6, which includes a seat member in the chamber, having a generally recumbent seat and a generally upright backrest.
8. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 7, in which the the seat is adjustable to vary its height.
9. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 7, in which the infrared emitter faces towards the backrest and is mounted to an inner surface of a wall portion defining the chamber, such that, in use the person's torso is irradiated.
10. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes an openable closure arrangement to permit access to the cavity.
1 1. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 10, in which the closure arrangement is in the form of one or more doors.
12. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 10, in which the cavity is partially defined by the closure arrangement and a floor.
13. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 12, in which the floor defines a base of the apparatus for engaging a support surface
14. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 13, which includes wheels fast with the base
15. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 2, in which the ozone generator includes an oxygen (O2) source coupled with an ultraviolet (UV) light emitter operable to apply UV radiation to the oxygen thereby to convert it to ozone (O3).
16. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 15, in which the ozone generator is outside the chamber.
17. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 16, which includes a control valve to control flow of ozone, in use, into the chamber.
18. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 17, which has an inlet port for the ozone and a gas vent.
19. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes a handle on each inner side of the cavity positioned where a user's hands, in use, would likely come to rest.
20. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 19, in which the handles are in the form of elongate elements directed upwardly and each has a control switch on a free end thereof.
21. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 20, in which the apparatus includes a heart rate monitor and electrodes for monitoring the heart rate of the user.
22. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes a control panel.
23. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in Claim 22, which includes a thermostat and a timer, adjustable via the control panel.
24. A sauna-like apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes an emergency shutdown button located in the cavity.
25. A sauna-like relaxation method which includes: locating at least a portion of a body of a user within a cavity defined by a chamber; and generating infrared radiation within the cavity .
26. A sauna-like relaxation method as claimed in Claim 25, which includes supplying ozone to the cavity.
27. A sauna-like apparatus, substantially as described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings.
28. A sauna-like relaxation method, substantially as described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings.
PCT/IB2008/052652 2007-07-02 2008-07-02 A sauna-like apparatus and method WO2009004580A2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
ZA2007/05111 2007-07-02
ZA200705111 2007-07-02

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2009004580A2 true WO2009004580A2 (en) 2009-01-08
WO2009004580A3 WO2009004580A3 (en) 2009-02-26

Family

ID=39772862

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/IB2008/052652 WO2009004580A2 (en) 2007-07-02 2008-07-02 A sauna-like apparatus and method

Country Status (2)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2009004580A2 (en)
ZA (1) ZA200808417B (en)

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2070503A5 (en) * 1969-12-08 1971-09-10 Oullier Yves
DE2658423A1 (en) * 1976-12-23 1978-06-29 Somartec Sa Kosmetikgeraet for dermatological treatment with a water vapor-ozone gas mixture
WO2003053324A1 (en) * 2001-11-17 2003-07-03 Won-Dong Yang Multi-functional sitz bath apparatus serving both as hot vapor or errhine bath and cleaning bath
US20030156831A1 (en) * 2002-02-20 2003-08-21 Schaeffer Bernarr C. Infrared sauna
WO2003079955A1 (en) * 2002-03-25 2003-10-02 Dickson Industrial Co. Ltd. Foot care device
WO2006057091A1 (en) * 2004-11-24 2006-06-01 Reihi Tei Thermotherapic sauna apparatus

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2070503A5 (en) * 1969-12-08 1971-09-10 Oullier Yves
DE2658423A1 (en) * 1976-12-23 1978-06-29 Somartec Sa Kosmetikgeraet for dermatological treatment with a water vapor-ozone gas mixture
WO2003053324A1 (en) * 2001-11-17 2003-07-03 Won-Dong Yang Multi-functional sitz bath apparatus serving both as hot vapor or errhine bath and cleaning bath
US20030156831A1 (en) * 2002-02-20 2003-08-21 Schaeffer Bernarr C. Infrared sauna
WO2003079955A1 (en) * 2002-03-25 2003-10-02 Dickson Industrial Co. Ltd. Foot care device
WO2006057091A1 (en) * 2004-11-24 2006-06-01 Reihi Tei Thermotherapic sauna apparatus

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2009004580A3 (en) 2009-02-26
ZA200808417B (en) 2010-01-27

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